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Offshore holdings of China govt bonds rise in January

SHANGHAI (ST) – Holdings of Chinese government bonds by offshore investors rose in January despite a steep drop in yield premiums over United States (US)government debt, as investors continued to seek safe havens from inflation and rising rates afflicting other markets.

Offshore investors held Chinese government bonds worth a record CNY2.52 trillion (BND534.6 billion) at the end of January, according to data released on Friday evening by China Central Depository and Clearing (CCDC), the main depository institution for China’s interbank bond market.

That was up about 2.7 per cent from a month earlier.

Holdings of quasi-sovereign bonds issued by China’s policy banks, typically the most liquid instruments traded on China’s interbank bond market, slipped by one per cent from the previous month to CNY1.07 trillion.

Total foreign holdings of yuan-denominated bonds cleared through CCDC stood at a record CNY3.73 trillion, up 1.4 per cent from December.

Diverging monetary policies between China and the US has led to a sharp squeeze on Chinese bonds’ yield premiums. The spread between the Chinese and US 10-year yield has narrowed by more than half since early December, from more than 155 basis points to around 75.